If you are a single mother or a struggling parent, life isn’t a walk in the park. You come across challenges, whether they be big or small, every single day.
Today, Rabia Mughni (FUCHSIA’s founder), shares with our readers a moment of vulnerability in her life when she began to doubt herself.
One Of Those Days When I Couldn’t Stop Crying, I Picked Up The Phone
It was one of those days and I couldn’t stop crying. I was angry and bitter. I’d begun second-guessing the decisions in my life. I had lots of shikwas for God. Though I knew I should trust Allah, I was still inconsolable. I needed to speak to someone. Thus, I picked up the phone and called my friend. She heard me out, she heard all my tootay phooty, bay rubt shikway.
“Why is Allah still doing this to me, why don’t things become better…why am I not getting what I want. When I have always risen and whenever I have fallen, I have never stopped trusting Allah … then why? Why am I still a loser and a failure…why is there a new challenge every morning when I wake up … I am tired… I cannot do this anymore.”
Midway through the phone call, I recall that I had been crying nonstop. She listened to all that I had to say, and then she said: “What you are feeling is completely natural. You are allowed to feel this way, you are allowed to think this way. You’re human, you are not an angel. You have gone through so much and you are still going through so much.”
She listened to all that I had to say, then she said, “ What you are feeling is completely natural”. You are allowed to feel this way, you are allowed to think this way. you are a human, you are not an angel… you have gone through so much and you are still going through so much.”
There was no lecture on: ‘You cannot do shikwas with Allah, you cannot blame Him, you cannot ask WHY? …’. She just carried on,’ I met your daughter a few weeks ago and I thought – What a fine lady she’s turning out to be. She came over and said salaam to me, she was so polite. And you know, she loves you so much, because when I gave her some money (it was her birthday), to buy a present for herself, she replied: “Oh I’m just going shopping to buy something for mama, I want to buy something really nice for her…”.
A Few Words Of Encouragement Can Go A Long Way
My friend continued, “You have done an amazing job with raising her and I am so proud of you and all that you do. I don’t know how you do it every day, every single time I see your smiling picture I think, what an amazing job this woman is doing despite everything that’s going on. You should be proud of yourself. Not everyone can do this. Of course, there will be problems and you will feel disheartened because you are a human. However, you should have seen the respect and love in your daughter’s eyes when she was talking about you.”
If someone could have filmed me at the time, they would have seen that I was in a trance-like state, this conversation was soothing me. My friend’s words were like marham on my zakhams, and I had returned to my sane, composed, determined self. Maybe, all was not lost. Maybe, I wasn’t such a failure.
A Change In Perspective Is All You Need
It took one conversation to change my point of view. I do not feel sympathy for myself anymore. I feel proud of myself. Of who I am, of what I do, and how I do it. I feel proud of facing each and every challenge head-on, every day. Because everyone cannot do what I am doing.
Even if it’s the smallest thing, like calling up the generator guy 10 times a day, or ensuring that the water tank is always full, dropping my daughter alone somewhere late at nigh, attending a work event, cooking dinner, picking up groceries and then staying up till 2 am with my daughter as she finishes her assignment…
I know each one of these actions in themselves is no big deal, but sometimes, they ARE.
I have realized that when someone shares problems with us and tells us how difficult things are for them and how they feel lost, we respond with these generic statements: ‘Trust Allah, hang in there, things will be okay, it’s a test, ho jaye ga, Sabar kero…’.
We never encourage them, we never tell them what a great job they are doing despite all the difficulties and hardships they are facing.
We feel sorry for ourselves, we are the muzlooms because we face hardships that others around us aren’t facing. However, think about it the other way round- how important are we to be placed in these situations and be given these huge responsibilities?
We’re All Important In Our Own Ways
Each and every one of us has a different load to carry. If you have a child with special needs don’t feel self-pity. Don’t tell yourself, ‘Oh I have been given a test, how will I pass this?’.
Instead, think for a second, ‘Can you imagine that child’s life without you? You are everything for him/her’.
If you are a sister raising your siblings because your parents need the financial help, the next time you feel tired and slip into that phase of: ‘Oh my life, and poor me’. Pause for a moment and think instead of how important you are. Without you, all these people would not be able to accomplish what they already have.
If you are staying on in a marriage because of your children, be proud of yourself, don’t be bitter. You know your true worth, you must realize that you are not wasting your life, but adding to others’ lives, and in so doing, adding to yours too.
If you are a single mother or father raising your children, don’t think ‘poor me’, because you are the solid ground upon which your children stand, and take courage. That’s how important you are!
If your children misbehave, your in-laws begin to taunt you, friends start giving you questioning glances, and you think: ‘Why am I still doing all of this?’. Then remember, they might never realize the worth and importance of what you are doing. They might realize it and know it one day but till then, it’s you who needs to remember your worth every single day.
Start By Believing In Yourself
YOU are special and important. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start being proud of what you’ve managed to become and overcome.
If you know someone going through hard times, encourage them and tell them what a great job they are doing. Hardships bring with them feelings of dejection and failure that not only affect the mindset but also a person’s emotional health. Your words of encouragement can change their perspective and make them feel better. It can give them the courage to go on doing what they need to do, in order to make it through the day.
After all, positivity and motivation make us do things we felt we were never capable of. They might even turn our dreams into reality, don’t you agree?
Rabia stays involved in various social causes. Believing in creating equal opportunities for underprivileged kids, she helps The Citizens’ Foundation, Pakistan, to create awareness of the need for providing quality education to children. At the same time, she is also involved with Singapore-based VWO, 4PM’s Ramadan on Wheels project by supporting it through the FUCHSIA platform. At FUCHSIA, Rabia oversees the Marketing and Public Relations work. She is also part of the Editing Team in conceptualising articles and monthly issues.